Workers’ Compensation Questions Answered: Is it legal for an employer to fire you while you have an open workers’ compensation claim for missing work to go to doctor appointments?

Aug 21, 2014 | WC & Other Laws

As it always seems to be with lawyers, the answer is – it depends.  One of the confusing things about the law is that all sort of different laws – state and federal – can apply to the same situation.

The Colorado Workers’ Compensation Act does not prohibit an employer from firing you – however if you are fired for no-fault of your own during your medical treatment and you have restrictions, then the Workers’ Compensation Insurance carrier must pay you two-thirds of the lost wages.

If you do not have restrictions, or the the Doctor has said you are at MMI, then you likely will not get wage loss from workers’ compensation insurance – however – you could get unemployment if you worked at your employment for at least three months.

If you have worked for your employer for over a year, and your employer has more than 50 employees during the year – then you cannot be fired for taking time for medical appointments unless your total time off work exceeds twelve weeks.  This covered in the Federal Family Medical Leave Act.

If you can prove the real reason the employer fired you was for seeking workers’ compensation benefits, then you might have a retaliatory discharge law suit.

If you can prove that your employer could have reasonably accommodated you, and that you could still satisfactorily perform all of the requirements of the job, then you might have a claim under the American’s with Disabilities Act.

Remember there are a lot of “mights” and “possiblies” in the above – and to really understand how the law affects your particular situation you should consult with a lawyer.

As always, how this or any other case we discuss in this blog would apply to your case depends on many more factors.  We urge you to call us to see if you are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.  Workers’ Compensation is difficult, confusing, and very complex.  Kaplan Morrell has helped thousands of injured workers since 1997 get the benefits they deserve.   Contact us here or call us at 303-780-7329 for your FREE CONSULTATION.